Many Faces of North: Emily Janowski

Leaving school at 3:23 on a Friday to drive over 14 hours for one thing only: snowboarding. This is not a rare occurrence either but a trek that junior Emily Janowski has made numerous times over the last couple months to snowboard among the beautiful mountains in Colorado. The Janowski family aims to go to Colorado every long weekend; they have to snowboard among some of the most popular trails in the country.

“During the snowboarding season we go every long weekend we have,” Janowski said. “My favorite thing is definitely the views, especially during nighttime when everything’s lit up.”

While many people go skiing on the trails, Emily prefers snowboarding. During one trip, she accidentally went the wrong way and ended up on a black diamond trail with just her cousin. For reference, the black diamond is one of the most difficult trails which can be filled with fresh snow and steeper than forty percent. The next level, the double black diamond, is only allowed for experts only. Snowboarders specifically have little to rely on but their balance because they do not have poles to stabilize themselves.

“Snowboarding is cooler,” Janowski said. “You can do a lot more tricks and you do fall over a lot, but when you fall over with skis, you kind of get stuck and it’s just easier.”

The downside of leaving for Colorado so often is that Emily often misses time with her friends and events back home in Grayslake, but despite that, the snowboarder has found a good balance and has nonetheless found the time to be on the honor roll, have multiple extracurriculars, see her friends, and still snowboard.

“I feel very upset that Emily’s leaving, but I know she’s having a good time, so I’m happy for her but sad for me,” said junior Roxy Rondon.

Outside of snowboarding, Emily plays tennis and participates in clubs such as Rho Kappa and Future Business Leaders of America. With all these commitments, she is busy but finds success in pursuing her passions.

“She’s definitely passionate,” said junior Imani Ongalo. “It takes up a good part of her life. But I also think it’s good for her, like a good release. She’s a kind person who most of the time takes whatever hits come at her, and it’s good for her to have that kind of release.”

Every time she goes back to Colorado, Emily always has something to achieve or complete. But despite the accomplishments, Emily appreciates the people and the memories the most.

“It’s the people I go with and the things I experienced because sometimes when it’s packed you get to sit on a lift with a stranger and you get to know them, and it’s really interesting to meet them,” Janowski said.